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(20 Posts)
serendipity16 Mon 03-Oct-11 08:53:28

My husband and myself have been wondering for a while if our daughter is Dyslexic. We've bought it up before with teachers but they've said lots of kids her age write backwards, read words back to front etc etc. She is currently in Yr3.
We spoke to the deputy head & some other teachers last week and they said that they believe she is Dyslexic. They have said that we will need to pay to have her tested but they said to wait until she's in Yr5 as there is less chance of her being giving a wrong diagnosis.... they said there would be a chance they'd say she isn't when in fact she is & it'd be a waste of money.

They also said that nothing would change for her in primary school as our borough doesn't recognise Dyslexia. They said it'd only be useful for her to be disgnosed as Dyslexic for when she starts secondary school.

I was just wondering if anyone else has had their children tested and diagnosed as Dyslexic before they were in Yr 5? Also if you have, did the school do anything to help your child?

Is there anything differently that we can do for her at home? We read to her and she reads books from school to us. She likes writing but you can rarely understand anything she's written. We practice her spellings with her & we help her with her homework & working out the sentences she needs to write for her homework.

Thank you

ElbowFan Mon 03-Oct-11 09:28:51

The whole area of dyslexia is a difficult one but I wonder if you may find this interesting -

IndigoBell Mon 03-Oct-11 10:00:36

serendipity - I have been researching dyslexia, and how to help my DD, for the last 4 years, and I am still finding out more ways to help her.

Basically there is loads and loads and loads you can do to help your DD. I still believe I will be able to cure my DDs dyslexia, but it does take years and money.

Here are some of the things you can try.

So there is loads you can do.

Is there any point in paying for a dx? No. None at all. School acknowledge she has literacy difficulties and are doing everything they can to help her. A piece of paper won't change that, because there is nothing else they can do for her.

Assume she does have dyslexia, and decide what you are going to do to help her.

PM me if you want more advice.

serendipity16 Mon 03-Oct-11 10:23:18

Thank you very much for replying.

I will have a good read of the websites you've both posted.

Mashabell Mon 03-Oct-11 10:38:51

What makes u think that she might be dyslexic?

maverick Mon 03-Oct-11 13:22:17

I agree with Indigo that there is no point at all in having your child privately assessed. What you need to do is ensure that she receives an evidence-based (systematic synthetic phonics 1-1) reading intervention asap. There is a great deal of bad-science and politics around the subject of dyslexia -for this reason I've compiled an information page for parents in your situation -I'm a specialist reading tutor with many years of experience under my belt working with students of all ages who have serious reading/spelling problems.


dolfrog Tue 04-Oct-11 03:39:27


Maverick is not interested in dyslexia, only promoting synthetic phonics. Which is great provided that you can use phonics, and there is no science to support it, marketing hype there is a plenty.
You may be interested in
CiteULike Group: Reading: Acquiring and Developing the Skills and Abilities - library 231 articles
and An Evaluation of Basic Reading Processes which may help explain the reading processes.

Dyslexia is a man made problem a Social Construct.
Dyslexia is language dependent
Dyslexia is about having cognitive problems accessing a man made communication system the visual notation of speech, or the graphic symbols society chooses to represent the sounds of speech.
There are two types of dyslexia, developmental dyslexia which has a genetic origin, and Alexia or acquired dyslexia which results from brain injury substance abuse, stroke, dementia or a progressive illness. Both have been extensively researched and there is no bad science more a lack of the UK dyslexia industry, and those who run the education system being willing to read the last decade or so of international research regarding neuroimaging, and the development of the psycholinguistic models of how we learn to read.

Most children have developmental dyslexia, there are three cognitive subtypes of developmental dyslexia: auditory, visual, and attentional. Which means that an auditory processing disorder (listening disability), a visual processing disorder, an attention disorder, or any combination of the three can cause the dyslexic symptom. Each cognitive subtype requires a different type of support and remediation, and each of these conditions will have more severe symptoms that the dyslexic symptom.

Unfortunately in the UK we are still way behind regarding dyslexia. for most it has a genetic origin, those at familial risk of dyslexia, it is possible to identify potential dyslexics from around 6 months old.
Ideally dyslexia should be diagnosed by a multi discipline (multi professional) team: an audiologists to assess any auditory processing problems, an optometrist to assess for any visual processing problems, and a psychiatrist to assess any attention problems, with further assessment and diagnosis of the specific information processing disabilities they identify, to be carried out at further appointments.
Unfortunately in the UK we are lumbered with Educational Psychologists who are a relic of the behavioral past of the 1980s, who are not qualified to assess or diagnose any of the underlying neurological cognitive causes of the dyslexic symptom.

sugartongue Tue 04-Oct-11 09:40:43

Dolfrog you always go on and on about the causes of dyslexic symptoms (do you just cut and paste in every post about dyslexia?) but you never offer any information about what can be done. You seem to be well versed in one version of the explanations of dyslexia (and I pass no judgment as to its accuracy) and so it constantly surprises me that you don't seem to be interested in what people can actually do when it comes to ameliorating the effects of dyslexia!

IndigoBell Tue 04-Oct-11 09:46:04

sugartongue - it's worse than that. Every time I post about what can be done, and what has actually worked for my children, he shouts me down, and refuses to listen or discuss sad

Which is a huge pity, because it does stop me from posting a huge amount of really useful information on this board.

sugartongue Tue 04-Oct-11 09:55:45

It's as though dyslexia is only an academic concept to be discussed, when in fact most of us are struggling with the reality of helping a dyslexic child! It's interesting he won't listen to you because he accepts that auditory processing problems is one of the causes! On that note, I think my son's dyslexia definitely stems from some visual processing issue - not sight though! That's 20/20 apparently!

IndigoBell Tue 04-Oct-11 10:01:16

Have you managed to get your son checked by a behaviour optometrist?

Did he recommend vision therapy? Or glasses?

You can def have 20/20 vision and vision problems that make it hard / impossible to read.

An OT can also test for a whole range of vision problems, and recommend exercises.

sugartongue Tue 04-Oct-11 10:08:15

I'll have a look in to that one, thank you. He's definitely starting to make some progress now though - and I think he feels less disheartened by it all, and that reading might actually be achievable! Terrible the effect that school has on any child that doesn't fit into the right box sad

Mashabell Tue 04-Oct-11 10:53:54

what people can actually do when it comes to ameliorating the effects of dyslexia

It's the same as with pretty much all children who struggle a bit more than most with learning to read and write: lots of patient one-to-one help.

All children's literacy progress benefits from patient parental support, for those who find the going tougher than most it's even more beneficial.

Staying patient and positive, not losing your cool, can be really hard at times, but u really can make a big difference yourself.

What I am going to say next will probably have the phonic fanatics pounce on me again, but for some children, it can be really helpful to draw their attention to the inconsistencies of English spelling, such as the changing sounds of <o> in 'on, only, once, won, woman, women' or the different spellings for the /oa/ sound in 'toast, most, stole, mouldy, coal, bowl - i.e. blaming their difficulties on English spelling rather than them being stupid.
Many bright, highly logical people do find those illogicalities very hard to cope with.

Please don't get me wrong. I am not saying that English spelling irregularities are the main cause of dyslexia, but they make life for anyone with dyslexic brain wiring much harder than in languages which do not have them.
Masha Bell

sugartongue Tue 04-Oct-11 11:00:20

I practice all that on a daily basis Masha, I was just commenting that sometimes people's contributions to the dyslexia discussion aren't that helpful and can alienate people who just want support - all this pseudo-academic comment on dyslexia can be quite off-putting

whoatethelastbiscuit Tue 04-Oct-11 15:03:11

when I read your op I thought it was me ten years ago with dd4. dd2 is mildly dyslexic but dd4 is off the scale! We were told at primary that our county didn't recognise the condition, rubbish they didn't want to do anything which was underlined by the authority saying child had to be 4 years behind, so at least 9, before they would recognise it, no support available before that. I'll go against the majority and say the ep report we had done privately was invaluable, she has problem sequencing and cannot link sound to shapes(letters), she is unable to learn spelling rules, I could go on but you get the picture, basically she couldn't even spell her name at 9. The report stated in black and white that to rectify this degree of problem normal schooling would have to be suspended and that would have it's own problems so we evolved various strategies to suit her unique needs, we resisted the urge to keep going over spelling etc - we would not have known which strengths to call upon to help. Just one example - she has an outstanding auditory memory, so we taped all her notes, we experimented with the dc's to find whose voice she responded best to, it turned out to be her twin who thankfully could understand her strange writing and spelling. There are lots of resources out there, some will work for your dc and some not, cherrypick the best and keep trying till you find a combination that works for them. We stated very clearly to dd that her brain just worked differently and there was nothing wrong with her, the world is organised for the majority not for those who are slightly different and she would have to work hard to get on and she has.
I would go with Indigo's suggestions, try stuff, and don't give up hope, it's a marathon but you'll get there - our dd4 is now in her final year at a russell group uni, she has never had a grade below b in exams and we know from her ep she is of average intelligence, just shear bloody minded! (with a mum who sits up proof reading in the early hours smile)

Helenagrace Tue 04-Oct-11 15:17:28

DD was diagnosed as dyslexic, dyspraxic and dysgraphic in year 3. We paid privately as no state help was offered. Her state school told us that the only problem dd
had was parents who couldn't cope with having a not very bright child.

An almost throwaway comment by the EP led us to a behavioural optometrist. She found out that DD also had convergence insufficiency.

DD has done the speed up writing programme and a range of optometry exercises and she is now making great progress.

One of the first things we noticed was the change in DD's confidence. Having a diagnosed reason for her problems made it easier.

lilackaty Tue 04-Oct-11 21:16:03

The British Dyslexia Association run courses for parents that offer practical solutions and are not too expensive. I went on one for teachers last week and got loads of great ideas to implement immediately.
Something we do that works well is getting the child to give us the sentence they want to write and then writing it on a whiteboard for them to copy, removing the words they can spell so they put them in when they copy. It's called structured scribing I think.

sunnydelight Wed 05-Oct-11 05:31:50

I'm not going to offer you suggestions but what I would say is PLEASE don't ignore your daughter's dyslexia. The implications for her confidence are huge.

My eldest wasn't assessed as dyslexic until Y6 (I eventually went private as the school wouldn't do anything). So he never really got help with the basics which has made things difficult all the way through school, it shattered his confidence which is still an issue now he is about to leave school. He eventually got a decent last four years of education but only because we moved to Australia and paid for schooling which is a bit of a drastic option! DS2 on the other hand got intervention at the age of 9 here which has helped massively.

Don't assume all will be well and your daughter will get loads of help when she reaches secondary school. Two secondary schools in the UK dumped DS1 in the lowest sets and pretty much left him to it. I have learnt from bitter experience that that is what primary schools say to get you off their back until you are no longer their problem.

mummytime Wed 05-Oct-11 06:08:32

Some secondaries are great with SEN, but some do really want SEN kids in lower sets "where there are more TAs". Having a dyslexic son who is in a wide range of sets (top for Science and Maths, to bottom for German), I can confidently say being in bottom sets does no one who can do better any favours.
OP can you get to Reading? If so I would try to go to see Dyslexia Research Trust as they can give a very good indication of dyslexia and check if there is an issue with your daughter's eyes.

nooka Wed 05-Oct-11 07:44:12

We had a private EP assessment when ds was seven and found it very useful. Not for accessing help, because the school made it very clear that there wasn't any available, but for understanding where ds was really struggling. Plus it was very validating to have it confirmed that he was actually very bright, and that (as far as she was concerned) he didn't have the behavioural problems that the SENCO had been going on about for the previous couple of years (she was convinced he was on the autistic spectrum).

However what helped ds was the systematic synthetic phonics tutoring that maverick recommended. He had I think six sessions and it just totally cracked the reading code for him. It was a transformation and I really don't think that he would be the bookworm he is today without it (my input certainly wasn't helping however much I tried). His spelling/handwriting is still terrible though and we are having him reassessed (different school system and I've heard that assessments only last five years in any case).

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